I think it all started when I was 12. My entire family planned a big trip to Italy to visit some of my mom’s family. It was my very first time leaving the country. I had my bags packed with nothing but my clothes, shoes, and a toothbrush. Before I get into this story, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Nikki Hand and I am a commercial and landscape photographer. This is where it began for me.
I went to Italy with no camera. This sounds crazy to me now. It was the first time I experienced a culture that was different from the California lifestyle I am used to. It was so amazing to me. From the excellent food that my Nonna is already a pro at making, to the old and detailed architecture, to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. I was so in love!
I had already had an interest in taking photos. My parents used to let me take some sweet snaps in my backyard with their empty 35mm film cameras. While on my trip, I would takeover my mom’s point and shoot camera. I would take photos of whatever looked interesting in my imagination. I think it is where I realized that I had an eye for photography. I couldn’t draw or paint or do the things you think of when someone says “artist.” But as a young girl I wanted to be an artist. Taking photos made me feel like an artist. As a 12 year old girl, I did not think photography was considered art.
By the end of the trip, my mom decided to get some photos printed to put up in our house. She ended up framing a photo I took! She didn’t even realize that I took it, she just thought it was a nice photo to put up in the house that wasn’t of our family. It made me feel even more inspired to get out and take photos!
Now I am 20 and photography is my passion. It is my way of expressing my artistic side and creativity. Every chance I get I am out taking photos. If I am traveling, the first thing packed is all my camera gear. I am always planning my next adventure and printing photos from previous ones. I have been to some pretty amazing places and can’t wait to explore more! 2016 is going to be an epic year for me and my travels. I can’t wait to share so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!
Visit Nikki's website: http://www.nikkihand.com/
Photos from her recent Hawaiian Islands adventure in her Freeman's Collective Westcoast Wanderlust Trucker Hat